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Here in the Valley there are so many little things that aren't directly related to climbing, but are sure signs that we're in Spring and the climbing season is well on its way. Of course the warm mostly-dry days are one dead give-away. Cool evenings are still with us, but days that quickly warm up into the 70+ temp level are the norm now. Lycra adorned cyclists on every roadway are another give away, especially now that they're no longer bundled up against the elements. Of course the swarming black flies, thankfully not biting yet, and occasional tick that I find crawling in the kiddo's hair and on the pets are another. And if you haven't experienced it yet, the DOT cranking up the roadwork action is yet another.
I've mentioned the roadwork before, and folks it's getting worse. Just when you thought they were done with First Bridge over the Saco, they're at it again. Plan for delays in either direction, at least for another week! Not only River Road is tied up, but Main Street near the Hospital, many of the local streets that connect Main Street to the North South Local Road are cut off while they do repairs or connect up the temporary water and sewer lines. It's a real mess. According to the survey teams I've spoken to recently the contract for the work on the Kanc has been won by local contractor Coleman and should start up over the next couple of weeks at the latest. For those of us who are planing on riding the Crank The Kanc time trial bike race it's not exactly good news. And again, if you're coming over the Kanc to go climbing plan on delays.
I've also mentioned the North South Local Road. It connects between Walmart and North Conway. One thing I want to point out is that there are more accidents on this road than almost any other in the area. part of that may be because there aren't any stop lights along the way, but it's also because there are numerous intersections along the way with nothing but stop signs. Apparently lots of folks just don't pay attention and pull out in front of the main traffic flow. It seems as if there probably 2 accidents a week along the stretch where it comes into town. It's just something to be aware of as if you use that road.
A big concern for many of us it the current plan in the town to add not one but TWO rotary's up on the Walmart side to handle traffic flow for the new big box stores that are being put in up there. Although many people feel that this is a terrible idea, some in charge are trying to push it ahead. If there are already a large number of accidents on that road, what's it going to be like with 2 rotary's? I thought that rotary's had gone the way of the hula hoop, but it looks as if North Conway is going to be taking a major step back in to the stone age. Didn't Massachusetts start pulling theirs out years ago?
Someone forwarded me a link to a very lengthy thread on rockclimbing.com that discusses in excruciating detail the ins and outs of the cordalette. John Long is apparently revising his gook on climbing anchors and, with the help of our own Jim Ewing of Sterling Rope, has done quite a bit of research on how well the cordalette does or does not work. The results may surprise you. While you may not want to go through 60+ pages of postings on the topic, there is a thread on NEClimbs entitled "Cordelette 'controversy' at rc.com" that somewhat summarizes the discussion. It is well worth checking out. The original thread on RC is here:
Be warned, it is lengthy and there are many spin-off threads to this topic. That said I do think that it is well worth getting into. As I said, the results of testing the very popular cordalette are well worth reviewing.
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective January 19, 2017
It's yet another mild day here in the Valley at 39 degrees, and even up in Crawford Notch where it was 34! The ice is OK in some places, but not overall good yet. For instance the Frankenstein Amphitheater is marginal, while Standard and Dracula are great. We need several days of seriously cold temps for things to settle in, Top outs on many climbs are poor, so protect where you can!
Other places To Climb:
As the buds and leaves are popping out on the trees things are getting more obscured, but there are still all kinds of little crags and boulder fields that stand out to me. I had never noticed Potash Knob on the Lincoln side of the Kanc until the other day. Located almost directly across from Loon, it was really obvious. I looked it up in Secret's Of The Notch, why am I not surprised that Sykes has explored it extensively, and it looks as if it might be worth a visit. On a recent visit over to Campton I noticed some interesting looking crags on both the left and right side of 93 between Lincoln and exit 30 that looked worth exploring. One of these was on the left just below a cell tower and another was the always obvious slab over on the right. Does anyone know anything about these? Another mentioned on the NEClimbs forum in the New Rock Routes section recently was the far left slabs on Mt. Webster in Crawford Notch. Sounds as if there is at least one very cool new route on good quality granite. I also got some info on a couple of new routes on Whiteface down near Sandwich Notch put up by Matt Peer and Mark Hitchcock last year that sound nice. I'll try & post those on the site soon. Altho some folks think that these hills are tapped out, I sincerely doubt it. Just keep your eyes open & I'm sure you will find more.
Helmet Rant On Climbing Mags:
Just a quick rant here... Am I the only one who has noticed that in a huge percentage of the pictures in the mags, pretty much all of them IMO, the climbers aren't wearing any helmets. Alpine climbers seem to be different, but most of the others are helmetless. Is this just the coolness effect, or what? Doesn't this send totally the wrong message? One of the mags recently did their gear review issue and helmets were not included, altho they did include crash pads and bolt-on climbing holds!!! SHEESH
Mobile Version Of NEClimbs:
Up on one of the Mount Washington Valley's finest crags and want to know what that climb you're looking at is? Or maybe you're on your way up from Boston and want to check out the Ice Report for your upcoming weekend plans. Or more likely, you're at work just want to daydream about your next adventure. Well if you have a smart phone handy, you can get to NEClimbs from anywhere you have cell service. While it doesn't offer every single feature of the site and it's not an "app", in mobile form, it does do a whole lot and is very useful. Here is the live link to the mobile version of NEClimbs:
Check it out and if you have issues on your specific phone, please feel free to let me know.
NEClimbs & White Mountain Report On Facebook:
Join us and LIKE us on Facebook. I'll try and post some interesting pix every Thursday and the latest Ice Report in the season, tho certainly not the whole Report. Here's where you can check it out:
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire
You put up with the grind of work or school as long as you can or is required. But then, one day, the phone rings one too many times, or the line at the gas pumps seems unending. The air smells bad. The food foul. 'Enough of this' you cry. You grab your ice tools and are gone.